When we return, we see shots of various crewmembers doing various things as Mal explains to them through the intercom that they're approaching a Reaver ship. Book is praying over Kaylee in the infirmary. Mal tells them that the ship may be heading somewhere in particular, or they may have already "hit somebody" already. Mal says that everybody needs to stay calm. If they try to run, the Reavers will chase them. They just have to stay the course and hope they don't respond. Mal concludes by ordering Zoe up to the bridge.
Simon chases Zoe down the corridor to ask what the hell the Reavers are. I should be retroactively annoyed that this means they've explained to Simon what Reavers are in two different episodes, but it's not like the writers had any choice in the matter. Zoe explains about them being space cannibal rapists. Simon heads to the infirmary to be with River, who is sleeping on the other table.
we cut outside for a brief shot of Serenity approaching the large, ungainly Reaver ship. Inside, Inara opens up a little case that contains a needle, one would assume in order to choose suicide over being raped to death. Or perhaps she's just diabetic. Jayne loads his guns in his quarters. There are blurry pictures on the wall behind Jayne. We can't make them out. They could be women. Or men. Or guns. Or possibly even food.
The ships slowly pass each other. On the bridge, Wash points out something called a magnetic grappler that the crazy improbable space cannibals use to grab ships. Time slows to a crawl. Eventually, Serenity passes by the Sakalava, but the ship doesn't respond. Everybody is relieved. Zoe exposits that the Reavers are working their way closer to developed planets.
We cut to the infirmary, where Mal watches River sleep. Kaylee calls out to him. She's woken up and seems to be in okay shape. She worries that she can't feel anything below her stomach and is getting cold. Mal tells her to rest, and covers her with a blanket. Kaylee assures him that she'll be okay and that Simon fixed her up nice. She adds that Simon's nice, too. Mal calls her "duck liver" and warns her not to crush too hard on Simon, because he's gay. And also, he's not going to be on the ship for long. Kaylee says that Mal's nice, too. Mal insists that he's a "mean old man." Kaylee says that Simon wouldn't have let her die. She insists that what happened to her was nobody's fault, and begs Mal to remember that. Mal says he'll try. Kaylee concludes that Mal's always looking out for them, then looks over at River and calls her a "real beauty." Then she falls asleep. Mal lets her hand flop down. I didn't even realize when I watched this the first time that we were supposed to conclude that Kaylee had just died. Because, you know, duh.
Simon's in Inara's quarters, begging some medical supplies off her. It seems she has some basics he can use, like immunization kits. I don't think you can get STDs from being shot, Simon. Simon aftshadows that the medical supplies they've got in the infirmary are very rudimentary. He thanks her for her help. Inara tells him that Kaylee's very dear to all of them. Simon apologizes for his role in her shooting. He stammers and tries to explain how he's never been in this situation before. Inara observes, "You're lost in the woods. We all are, even the captain. The only difference is he likes it that way." That's Mal's cue to walk in and blather that the woods are the only place he can see a clear path. Whatever. It order to be witty, what you say has to make some sort of sense. Mal demands to know what Simon's doing there. Inara snarks that she gave Simon a free "thrust," since he's not long for the world. Mal obviously doesn't believe her because, you know, Simon. Simon leaves as Mal and Inara argue about whose shuttle this is and whether or not Mal can enter unasked. We know that he's going to keep on doing it, so let's just move on. Mal says that he thought Inara was leaving. Inara responds, "I guess that depends on you." Plus you're all still in the middle of deep space. Did you think she was just going to put on a spacesuit and drift on over to the Reaver ship?